Indian, Pakistani weightlifters unite on and off Commonwealth podium

The affinity between Pakistani gold medallist Nooh Dastgir Butt and India’s Gurdeep Singh, who got here third within the 109+ kg class in Birmingham on Wednesday, stands in stark distinction to the nuclear-armed neighbours’ political rivalry.

FILE: Pakistan’s Mohammad Nooh Dastgir Butt makes an attempt a raise in the course of the males’s +105kg weightlifting occasion on the 2018 Asian Video games in Jakarta. Image: AFP

NEW DELHI – Two hulking weightlifters from reverse sides of the customarily tense India-Pakistan frontier shared the rostrum on the Commonwealth Video games – after which celebrated collectively to their favorite rapper.

The affinity between Pakistani gold medallist Nooh Dastgir Butt and India’s Gurdeep Singh, who got here third within the 109+ kg class in Birmingham on Wednesday, stands in stark distinction to the nuclear-armed neighbours’ political rivalry.

These tensions typically spill into the sporting area – they solely play one another at cricket in multi-nation occasions, regardless of it being by far the most well-liked sport in each international locations.

The 2 weightlifters come from both facet of Punjab, a state divided between the neighbours at Partition 75 years in the past, and have a typical language and tradition.

Additionally they share a love of the music of murdered Punjabi rapper Sidhu Moose Wala.

The 2 strongmen had been born about 250 kilometres (155 miles) aside and in accordance with the 26-year-old Singh first met in junior championships six years in the past.

They “would share recommendations on weight loss program. Conversing in Punjabi clearly helped our friendship”, he informed The Indian Categorical from Birmingham.

Commonwealth Video games champion Butt, 24, described them as “excellent mates”.

“After the gold, I first congratulated Gurdeep and later we did a small celebration the place we danced to Moose Wala’s songs,” he stated.

Moose Wala, additionally identified by his beginning identify Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, was shot useless in his automobile within the Indian state of Punjab in Might.

The 28-year-old was standard on each side of the border and amongst Punjabi communities overseas, particularly in Canada and Britain, along with his dying sparking anger and outrage amongst followers internationally.

Butt, born right into a household of wrestlers, stated that he additionally loved help from throughout the border.

“I’ve extra followers from India than Pakistan within the weightlifting group,” he stated. “The sort of love India has given me, no different nation has given me.”

His father Ghulam Dastgir Butt, a 16-time Pakistan nationwide champion wrestler, added: “I get shocked when folks discuss that India and Pakistan are born enemies.

“The quantity of affection and respect India has given to me, we additionally love Indian gamers and Hindustan the identical,” The Indian Categorical quoted him as saying.

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